The set piece of this hyperbolic ode to surfing is Laird Hamilton's 2000 trip to Tahiti, where a monster wave provided the opportunity for what the movie portentously calls the most significant ride in surfing history. If you're inclined to regard the sport as important and its practitioners as heroic, you'll likely enjoy this beautifully photographed documentary, which presents Hamilton as a towering figure.
Certainly he's responsible for much of the sport's current popularity: A fierce competitor who seems genuinely driven, he's a popular cover boy who's landed modeling assignments and lucrative endorsement deals that include an American Express commercial.
Writer-director Stacy Peralta depicts Hamilton and his fellow surfers as not only dedicated but even obsessive, chasing the biggest waves with the single-minded determination of Captain Ahab pursuing Moby-Dick. Peralta's images testify to the physical battering surfers undergo, and the onscreen participants pay tribute to brethren who lost their lives.